Health & Safety

November 21, 2013

How to combat bullying in the digital age

Capt. Allison Walker
17th Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Watching the news, many parents may feel perplexed by the recent surge of “cyberbullying.”

Cyberbullying? What is that? This relatively new phenomena is unchartered waters for most parents and keeping children safe in this new technological arena can be anxiety provoking.

Cyberbullying is defined as deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person. As of 2011, at least 75 percent of teenagers had cell phones, and more than 50 percent were logging into some version of social media daily. The 24/7 access to digital media allows for such damaging information to become wide public knowledge almost instantly – and incredibly difficult to remove. The most recent numbers report that more than 20 percent of adolescents have been the victim of cyberbullying. This is a very common online risk and can result in severe depression, anxiety, social isolation and even suicide.

If you or your child experiences cyberbullying, immediately end the interaction. Never respond to a bully. Get school officials involved, notify the site managers if it occurs on social media (it often is in violation of their rules), and of course, if there are any threats of violence or safety concerns, notify the police.

 

What can you do to help protect your child from becoming a victim or perpetrator? 

Most social media sites, such as Facebook or Myspace, have a minimal age requirement of 13 years of age for use. This is the age set by Congress to prohibit sites from collecting information from children. Learn the age restrictions set by the sites your child is accessing and adhere to them. In addition, look at the site and make sure that you agree that the content is age appropriate.

Have a family meeting or use dinner conversations to discuss online topics and specific issues children face on-line.

Always dig deeper if your child has a change in mood, new fears regarding school/friends, or the onset of sadness/aggression immediately following exposure to digital media.

As a family, take time to review the privacy settings and monitor the profiles of each member to identify any inappropriate posts on a routine basis. Emphasize healthy behaviors and citizenship – this should not be a punishment.

Establish a family use plan to limit the time spent using digital media – not only does this help to limit the time your child is vulnerable to cyberbullying, but it limits distractions to homework and sleep as well. Make sure all access to digital media is removed at bedtime and adhere to your school’s policy on internet and phone use.

Become better educated with technologies and social media sites.

Actively participate in supervising on-line activities, not remotely with software.

Be a good role model. Limit your time with digital media and demonstrate private and safe behaviors.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Think before you act: Only takes a second for actions to go viral

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean … wrote something inappropriate … behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I’m sure you have or you wouldn’t be human. However, in today’s society some of these behaviors never go away, even if...
 
 

Comprehensive Airman Fitness: A Lifestyle and culture

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Comprehensive Airman Fitness is comprised of a multitude of targeted programs and activities as well as resiliency skills taught to enable Airmen to make sound choices. The program’s goal is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness. The new AFI...
 
 

15 seconds: A rude awakening

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — Gut-wrenching screams, the shattering of glass, and the unforgettable sounds of metal twisting and bending all around me as my truck rolls over and over again. I thought those were going to be my last memories. April 12, 2012, started out like any other Thursday for me....
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Davis-Monthan gets mentally fit to fight

The 355th Fighter Wing participated in the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Day, Aug. 11. CAF is a lifestyle taught to strengthen an Airman with four domains: mental, physical, social and spiritual. This quarter’s CAF Day focuses...
 
 

Academy introduces computer network security major

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) — Even as the U.S. Air Force Academy has reduced the number of majors it offers recently, it has instituted a new program aimed at helping the Air Force fly, fight and win in cyberspace. The computer network security major touches on topics designed to help cadets understand what...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Raughton)

HPV vaccine provides important safeguards

BETHESDA, Md. – Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. It can lead to cervical and anal cancer — which, combined, account for more than 250,000 deaths worldwide each yea...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin